Govt proposes stringent law to eradicate sale of spurious pesticides: Veeri

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Considering setting up of pesticides, soil testing laboratories

          JAMMU: Sharing concern of the Members about alleged sale of spurious pesticides, the Minister for Horticulture, Haj and Auqaf, Mr. A. R. Veeri today announced that Government shall enact a stringent law to check this menace in the interest of the world reputed Horticulture Industry. He said, he has directed that both the Agriculture Universities of the State to prescribe scientifically proven standard pesticides and fungicides to the fruit growers and farmers well in advance of the spray season so that they are not fleeced by the unscrupulous pesticide traders.

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          Replying to the supplementaries to the main question by Advocate Bashir Ahmed Dar in Legislative Assembly today, the Minister said that horticulture industry has given sustenance to the livelihood of the people of the state in most difficult of times and nobody will be allowed to destroy this vital sector of state’s economy.

          Horticulture Minister said promotion of Horticulture sector has been flagged as priority sector by the present government adding that several measures are being taken to promote this sector on modern lines. He said government proposes to construct one cold storage in each fruit mandi of the State so that fresh fruit of the State is exported in its original flavour to other terminal markets of the country. In addition, to this soil testing and pesticide testing laboratories would be set up in each district so that production and productivity is increased manifolds on scientific basis, informed the Minister.

          The   Minister said that to enhance the KCC Loan, the matter would be taken up with the Finance Ministry, adding that 50% KCC loans upto Rs. one lakh have been exempted by the Government. He said Government is committed to initiate all necessary measures for the benefit of Fruit growers. He said focussed attention would be given to develop Fruit Markets in the districts adding that Fruit Mandi Sopore would be upgraded and necessary infrastructure shall be ensured at the Mandi to facilitate the fruit growers and traders of the area. He said efforts would be also made to complete the development of Fruit Mandi Zazan-Ganderbal.

          Replying to the main question, the Minister informed that fruit growers of Kashmir valley sustained huge losses due to recent floods adding that in this regard damage assessment report has been submitted by the Government to the Centre, which among other sectors includes Horticulture Crop losses for which an amount of Rs. 784 crore representing 50% of the actual loss, these fruit growers have suffered has been projected.

          Legislators, Mr. Mohammad Khalil Bandh, Sheikh Ishfaq Jabaar, Mr. Zahoor Ahmed Mir, Mr. Altaf Ahmed Wani, Mr. Mohammad Yousuf Bhat, Mr. Shah Mohammad Tantray, Mr. Yawar Dilawar Mir and Mr. M. Y. Tarigami raised the supplementaries to the main question.